Meet Our Staff
God has blessed us with an incredible group of people who love Jesus and are passionate about His people. Meet the staff below, and be sure to click each photo to read their stories!
PAMELA SOUZA- God has worked hard in my life, mainly making me understand that nothing will ever be the way I want but in the way that the Lord wants for my life in the way that I please Him and is the best for His Kingdom. My vision for the ministry is that it will continue to grow for God’s glory and honor. My prayer is that we will get more volunteers dedicated to proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Today what I love most and receive most satisfaction is in teaching English. It is where I feel that the Lord uses me to proclaim the Gospel and help the students in their studies and spiritual growth. With God’s directions and the ministry, I am going to college for pedagogy that I know will help me in my development as a teacher. My biggest dream is to dedicate myself more in my classes and to always do my best. I was very happy when I finished my class, and I feel that the Lord used me not only to teach English but to teach the Word of God that can impact and change their lives.
LETICIA VIEIRA- I am very happy to be in the ministry today. I feel that this is where I must be. I love working with our team. We have problems like any other, but there is a big difference here. Everyone is full of the Holy Spirit and share the same vision and goal of investing in lives. In my personal life, I feel that God has shaped my character to be a better person. He is working. In 5 years here, I would like to develop more projects that help the teenagers to grow in their educational and spiritual areas, to get professionals with different skills to give free classes where we will address issues that are difficult to talk about and at the same time treat and follow them up, provide training to other churches or people on how to do the Agita and work with children, and be a reference for our neighborhood, city, and country.
IGOR SOUZA- The ministries developed are: The Clubinhos, Agita, Capoeira, and Teens. In the beginning it was very challenging for me to teach the kids. I had learned with them. God has been teaching me a lot and directs me according to His will. By teaching the kids over time, I noticed that with each lesson of the book and preparation of the classes, my relationship with God was growing and this was very important to me. During the preparations of the lessons God spoke to me and showed me how I should learn first and then teach. Today the children participate with all intensity, interacting and asking questions, becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. My desire is to be able to see them be part of the body of Christ serving in a local church. In the future I want to be used by God to be part of the history of these children, praying, learning and growing through relationships and Bible studies. Agita has been a school for me because everything I learned in the schedules made me identify how recreation can be of paramount importance to early evangelism in the communities. For the future I think of innovating and bringing more strategies that can be beneficial to understanding the word of God in the lives of children in a playful way. Every day I realize that children have excelled in the art of playing capoeira. And among the classes I perceive the care and behavior between them, the change is clear. This makes me think of the plan that God is concretizing in my life, because I knew Jesus through capoeira. The desire of my heart is to do in the communities the same as they did with me, to teach in capoeira classes the plan of salvation. For the next few years, I want to continue investing in the students and using capoeira in an evangelistic way to make them athletes of Christ and mainly direct them to the Church.
GISELE SANTOS- My name is Gisele Alves. I am 26 years old. I met Restoration Ministry when I was 12 years old through my friend. Therefore, I learned English in Restoration Ministry for four years and played in Agitas. My mother helped as a volunteer in parties and in the Agitas. So, I grew up and started to work, with 16 years old. When I finished my school, God provided a full scholarship to study in the university. My family didn’t have financial conditions to pay but God provided. Now I am graduated and in letters can teach English or Portuguese. That was my dream. I work in Restoration Ministries for six years as an English teacher, in Bible study in Vila Rosa community, after school and in the Agita. My future dream is to have “reading room” or library to offer to children the opportunity to read more, learn more about culture, and to know many stories. My dream is to make disciples, help them to have a better future and be like my English teacher was to me- an inspiration that encouraged me to be the difference in helping people to learn a new language, help people in their language of Portuguese, and through this show God’s love. I start my postgraduate neuroscience applied to education to learn how the brain works. I am very excited because I can learn things that will help me in my profession and how it is the better way to work with children and help them improve. God has provided everything. Sometimes we think that something is impossible, but I can see how powerful God is. He has taught me many things. Restoration Ministries is the place where I grow up each day. I am thankful to work there.
MICHAEL PUPO- Music Ministry at Restoration Ministries in 2017 Since we started the music program here about two years ago, it has been a big challenge for us because most of the kids don’t have much interest in learning music. However, during the time, they were getting used to the music lessons, and now I can see that they like it very much. We have children, teenagers and adults learning music at Restoration Ministries. Most of them are taking guitar classes, but we also have clarinet, sax, recorder, violin, and choir classes with Adriana, Almir, and Wellington. It’s really amazing to see the results the music program brings to the students’ lives. God has made beautiful things through all this. One testimony I heard: “I’m learning a lot from the guitar classes, and I’m using everything I learn here to teach other people in my church. I’m really blessed to be here,” Daniele said. She is one of the guitar students at the Day Center. João Paulo, the first student I had at Restoration Ministries, now is playing guitar at Vila Rosa’s church in worship services and each class with him is just fantastic! He is really smart, very intelligent, and loves music. He is only 12 and is already able to play and sing songs that I would never play when I was this age. I don’t think that only João Paulo is learning from me, but I’m learning a lot about God with João Paulo too. He is a blessing! There are other students, at Promorar for example, that are playing in churches and teaching their friends how to play the songs I taught them. I already saw videos of them on Facebook, playing and singing worship songs! They are learning to play and teaching others how to praise our Lord! I’m just amazed to see the work of God in their lives through music. I’m really happy to be able to see they learning, teaching (!) and, most important, praising and glorifying God by using what they have learned: Music. It would be great if in the future our students develop similar programs in other places and also help the music program in Restoration Ministries grow. I believe that God has given me not only the music talent but also a love for teaching. If I’m teaching music or English, giving bible studies, or any other thing, I would be really happy if I keep teaching whatever God wants me to teach. Then I think – and I really hope so – that in the future God is going to use me for teaching in some way or another. I just want to be under His will. My plan is to keep working and be part of God’s plans. My dream is to see all of the music students playing and being part of churches close to their houses, not just a few, but all of them! I want this music ministry to be multiplied! If I can teach one or two students, each one is able to teach at least one or two other people. This way they will transfer what they are learning and many more people are going to be able to hear about God’s love through music. The more we teach and share more people will be reached! Restoration Ministries has been a place of learning, a place of praising, a place of love. I’m really excited to see what God has for this ministry in the short term and long term future.
DANIELE AZEVEDO- Restoration Ministries has been a vital part of my life for years. When I was in my teens I volunteered at the ministry helping out wherever I could. I was especially drawn to working with kids in the favelas as I felt that I particularly understood their situation in life. I taught Bible stories to these children and helped them with their homework. Recently, I have been teaching, planning, and initiating these plans for various venues for the “after school program.” I have been working with the short term teams that come to Brazil to serve alongside with us, coordinating all the rentals at Camp California, leading the “clubinhos ages 4- 8” at Promorar, helping with the Agita Program on Wednesdays, and doing a devotional with some “girls” at Promorar. I really enjoy teaching and creating new initiatives within the ministry. I have a very strong calling to work with the children in the favelas in a holistic manner. I firmly believe that these children first respond to heartfelt love and a Christ like compassion that values each child as unquestionably loved and cared for by God. My call is to love these children with the love of Jesus and to teach them both the Bible and what they need to know to be able to rise above the grip of poverty and the evils of the favelas. I have been working on my Masters Degree in Education at Mackenzie Presbyterian University. My instructors have given me the opportunity to be involved in Clinics each week testing children for learning disabilities and then writing educational plans for each child. I carried this testing over to the Favelas where I have been testing kids, writing educational plans for each child, and working with these children once a week. I am currently working with about 30 children. It is a joy to watch these children respond to opportunities to learn and make progress along their given track. I know that this is a new and different approach to ministry, but I feel the joy of the Lord in giving these children an opportunity to learn instead of being lost in the system without the hope of ever climbing out of poverty. I believe with my whole heart that this is one thing that Jesus has called me to do. I would like to see an educational center built in the Favelas where children could find additional help with their educational needs. This would include children who require a little extra instruction to those with learning disabilities who need these disabilities to be identified and an educational track written to help them learn. The need is great because these children are often educationally overlooked by the educational system and not helped in the home. You may wonder why I am so passionate about teaching children in the slums. Well, I was one of those little girls who did not have much hope for educational advancement until some people from the US decided to invest in me and my future. They challenged me to go to high school and graduate with the hope of going to college. I understand what a little encouragement and a lot of caring support can mean in a person’s life. Now because of the courses and opportunities which I have been exposed to through my college and master level courses and opportunities, I find that I can help these children on a much deeper level. This is my passion. Secondly, I would like to see the ministry of Camp California expanded so that the Camp becomes financially solvent as we seek to find new ways in which the Camp may meet its core purpose of strengthening the church in Brazil. Camp California has been a tremendous asset to Restoration Ministries over the years and still is as we share this experience with so many children who live in the Favelas. A couple of years ago it became evident that we needed to come up with a way to find other revenue streams so that that camp would continue to be sustainable financially. This led to finding others who would are looking to rent a facility such as the Camp. This has been successful as we have carefully rented the camp to people or groups who will care for the camp while they are on site and are able to pay the rent. This has given the camp the additional needed revenue stream. One very positive activity that has been created through these rentals is the opportunity it has given us to hire cooking staff. We have chosen people who desperately need to make some money and people who are hard workers or willing to learn how to work. It has been exciting to help people from the ministry through this employment opportunity. I am responsible to find the contacts and all the work that surrounds drawing up the contracts and following through with all the details before and after each rental. I also supervise the cooking staff and work alongside of them. One other responsibility that I have at the ministry is to connect with visiting teams. My responsibilities begin before the team actually arrives in Brazil. I plan their schedule, which includes but is not limited to, setting the dates of their visit, the purpose of their visit, arranging transportation from the airport and during their visit, providing housing that fits their needs, meals, Camp California events if it pertains to their visit, and their daily schedule during their stay which includes ministry events, food, and entertainment. I am also responsible for making sure that their needs are met during their visit. My goal regarding this responsibility is to help the ministry improve the way they receive people, making their ministry relevant to those on the receiving end and those on the giving end – the team and staff at RM. Finally, I have been meeting one-on-one with women studying the Bible. I am very excited about the discipleship role and plan to continue this ministry in the future. I spend so much time with children but find that the Lord can also use me with women in their efforts to walk closer to the Lord. I would like to see my one-on-one ministry with women expanded and become more effective as we seek to disciple women in the Favelas and within the church.